The Wedding Present goes virtual – powered by Never.no
October 14, 2020
Client: At The Edge Of The Sea Festival, The Wedding Present
Bee-On content management platform helps support interactive online music festival with live shows and interviews
At The Edge Of The Sea is an annual festival curated by David Gedge, singer and founding member of The Wedding Present. With live physical events not an option this year, “semi-legendary” indie rock band, The Wedding Present, gave fans an entertaining live show to celebrate their 10th anniversary of At The Edge Of The Sofa festival. The Never.no team, supported by cloud-based content management platform, Bee-On, produced, managed and delivered a wealth of captivating content, featuring audience-run Q&As, live and pre-recorded acts, and broadcast-standard graphics.
Usually taking place in David Gedge’s hometown of Brighton, the festival had to take place online with various live performances, interviews and pre-recorded content needing a full end-to-end technical solution to entertain the artists’ loyal audience. Organisers of the event needed to produce, stream and provide graphics for the entirely new, online-only event shown live across various social media platforms.
During the early days of lockdown, Gedge streamed acoustic performances from his living room, using multiple devices connecting to different social networks, operated by Jessica McMillan, who also printed out comments and questions from social media to hand to him. By his own admission, Gedge said it left him “exhausted”.
To run an entirely virtual festival, Gedge required tools to allow him to focus on being in front of the camera, so the organisers looked for outside expertise to produce an alternate, online-only music event that would appeal to fans and newcomers alike. Meanwhile other content such as pre-recorded performances from festival alumni, socially distanced live acoustic performances from The Wedding Present and Gedge’s “other band” Cinerama, and live audience input via Q&As and requests.
Like any live music event, At The Edge Of The Sofa wanted to be accompanied with its own unique look and style. For this inaugural virtual festival, organisers required graphical treatments that would make use of their existing outputs, including additional interactive elements and graphics that would help make the event look like a TV-quality broadcast and feel even more special.
How we did it:
The production team at Never.no came together to work on the event using their cloud-based production system and their Bee-On Content Management Platform for graphics. They were fully involved in the technical process from the very inception of the project, working with The Wedding Present to show what would be possible.
Due to the complexity of the event, and the number of different elements involved, the teams worked from a very tight running order to make sure all assets were ready to be cued in the production system, and that the graphics were playing out perfectly. Calls-to-action were issued in the run-up to the event, including getting people to use #ATEOTSofa to see their comments on screen.
Following a couple of rehearsals and technical setups, the stage was set and everything was ready for the event. All streaming was handled remotely, with a talkback set up so that Never.no’s producer could talk directly with the three people at the event venue: David Gedge, co-host Melanie Howard and Jessica McMillan as the ‘floor’ manager. The team discussed changes as needed, and moderated the social content for live display at the appropriate moments.
The virtual festival ensured that content was delivered beyond the limitations of a physical event and ensured music lovers were able to experience and engage with their favourite artists like never before. With tens of dthousands of views, it was also the perfect platform for the band to announce some upcoming activities, such as a crowdfunded musical, a new album by Melanie Howard in the guise of Such Small Hands, and a forthcoming biography of David Gedge in the form of a graphic novel.
Using lower-thirds and ticker graphics, with all segments brought in and out with graphical elements, it gave the event the desired TV-quality feel. During the event, full-screen interstitials were used that showed up-to-the-minute social content over specially-created animations and soundtracked by an instrumental version of a much-loved Wedding Present song.
Many of the viewers recognised the technical aspects of the broadcast and complimented the technical team for bringing the show to life. To top it off, at the end of the festival, The Wedding Present were featured on lockdown sensation Tim Burgess’s #TimsTwitterListeningParty, with ‘Bizarro’ being the featured album, and a special playout on YouTube with live scrolling comments provided by Never.no’s Bee-On Content Management Platform.